Wednesday, August 22, 2012

37 1/2 weeks...In the Home Stretch

We are feeling pretty good about welcoming baby into our lives.  Last Thursday we reached the "full term" mark, which means we could have her at any time and she'd likely be o.k.  We also finished our birthing class and feel empowered and less intimidated by the whole hospital/birthing process.

Russ and I are hoping to have a natural childbirth if at all possible and avoid any interventions (i.e. no epidural or analgesic drugs).  I love our hospital, Cedars-Sinai and my Dr. is incredible; however, the epidural rate at Cedars is 98% and the use of pitocin is close to 75% and so it is not surprising that the rate of cesareans is close to 40%!  We are praying to avoid all of the above.

I'm hoping and believe that if millions of women have delivered naturally in the past, my body must be able to handle the pain but I'm working on my mental toughness in preparation.  One step we took to empower us in this journey of a drug free birth has been hiring a doula.  Joni Lucarelli has been a great support to us and she has two children of her own - - one birth she used interventions and the other was natural so she's not over the top crazy about "no drugs" but she is supportive and knowledgeable.  She will be with us at our home as we labor and then will move to the hospital and act as our advocate and support system throughout the labor/delivery process.  She's really wonderful and I'm excited and feel so much comfort knowing she'll be with us every step of the way.

I finally began packing my hospital bag and think we'll have all of the loose ends tied up by the end of the weekend.  Baby girl is still moving like crazy despite what the books say (they say that the baby is usually too big to move around a lot by this point).  We are both looking forward to the next few weeks and finally welcoming our little lady to this world.

37 1/2 Weeks - Full Term!

Monday, July 30, 2012

LA Baby Shower

The "Hostest with the Mostest" and my awesome sister, Tricia - Thank You!!!
My wonderful, lovely, generous, kind sister, Tricia, throws one fabulous baby shower!  She hosted a beautiful shower for me and Baby at The Malibu Cafe last weekend and it was absolutely gorgeous.  We (well, everyone else) drank bottomless mimosas and lemonade to try and beat the heat while we enjoyed the beautiful setting and had a chance to catch up.  We ordered a delicious brunch (blueberry waffles, what!?) and then moved over to a more shaded/cool area to dip our feet in the water and open presents. 
Like I said, Baby, is blessed!
My wonderful sis-in-law, Mackenzie!

Marshall/Matt/Clayton/Judis - All the same person - I LOVE you!
I can't thank Tricia enough for such a perfect shower.  A huge thank you also to my mom who flew in from Oregon to attend the shower and to my sister-in-law, Mackenzie, for making the trek from San Diego.  Oh, and a huge thank you to Christina for some delicious push-pop cupcakes (that she decorated with "It's a Girl" ribbons (yummy).
My beautiful mommy
Xtina - Queen of Push-Pop Cupcakes (and she just had a baby!)

Baby K is one VERY lucky girl and can't wait to meet everyone in about 5 weeks!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bump, Bump and Away!!!!

Today marks our 32nd week on this journey of pregnancy!  I've kind of slacked on the bump update posts but hopefully, the pics from Spain and the baby showers have kept you in the loop.

All is going great with baby and I'm relatively comfortable - I'll be even more comfortable once the air conditioning is installed (crossing fingers this happens within the week)!  My doctor is happy with the development of our baby and my weight gain is on track thus far.  I have realized however that I can not lift heavy items like I had been, which is frustrating.  It's not like I was power lifting or anything but this fact makes me feel even less like a contributor to our renovation(s).  Russ is now relegated to carrying most large items up and down the stairs and I've found gardening a little more difficult with this growing baby inside of me.

Baby K is super active and loves to save her kicks and twirls for bedtime but it doesn't bother me because already, I think that everything she does is perfect ;)

32 weeks!  Baby is the size of a large squash!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Feeling Showered with Love!

The love we have experienced over the past month is overwhelming, humbling and awesome all at the same time!  Russ and I are incredibly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who poured out their love on us (and baby) by throwing us three baby showers!

Grandma Nancy and I
My ladies in Seattle - - Jenelle was with us in spirit, she was sick :(
Our first stop was Seattle where we were able to enjoy some sunshine (yes, it was rare) and celebrate Father's Day and Grandpa Dave's birthday in addition to two baby showers!  The first was thrown by my sweet mother-in-law and friend Carol Ross and the other was perfectly planned by my longtime girlfriends Piper, Jackie and Jenelle.

While it was a whirlwind trip, we also managed to fit in some quality time at some of our favorite restaurants with friends, take a beautiful walk along the Sammamish trail with Grandma and Grandpa Kerwin and enjoy a delicious Father's Day brunch with Grandpa Dave and soon-to-be-daddy Russ!  If you want to see more pics from the girlfriends shower in Seattle, click here.

Heather, Mom, Tricia and I
Russ headed back to Los Angeles after that first weekend but I was fortunate to be able to fly down to Oregon to spend a week with my family prior to the shower that my mom and sister, Heather, threw for me (and baby)!  Little did I know, that my cousin Lyn flew all the way from Maryland to be at the shower AND she did ALL the cooking!  She is incredible and the food was to die for!
Best Mom in the WORLD!
One of the highlights of my time in Oregon, was seeing all of my closest childhood girlfriends who I am still closer than ever with.  It is so rare to get all of us to get together at the same time and I felt blessed beyond belief!  We had so much fun talking well into the night, and we still didn't even scratch the surface.

While each shower was beautifully executed and the gifts were beyond generous (thank you!!!!), the real gift(s) were seeing friends and family and feeling so loved I could burst.  A heartfelt thanks to all who are making our pregnancy experience so memorable and our lives so blessed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Babymoon in Espana

We've been off the grid for a couple of weeks (and then a couple more to recover) from our babymoon to Espana!
Cocktails/Mocktails before dinner in Marbella, Spain

What a treat to spend nearly two weeks with each other exploring the southern part of Spain and soaking in the rays of the Costa del Sol. 

Not only was it a great trip to see another country and experience a new culture, it was also a really nice time to reconnect with each other.  Russ and I have learned that travelling has helped us enormously because it affords us the space and time (minus distractions) to focus on each other.

So, while Spain was beautiful - I'd say the best part of the trip was growing together as a couple and cherishing our "last hurrah" before baby.
Since we've missed some "bump" updates, this will have to suffice for the 26 week pic and of course, I'm acting like a ham!

Our overall trip went something like this: Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Marbella, Morocco, Almunecar, Nerja, Granada, Madrid, Amsterdam and HOME!
Alhambra in Granada, Spain

I can fill ya in on details (hotels, what we saw, ate and did) later but that should give you a general sense of our itinerary.  It was just enough city/beach balance and overall a once-in -a-lifetime trip that we'll treasure forever.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Growing Bump

I got a bit behind on the posts esp. since there has been such big news lately so don't fall over that you're getting two posts in two days ;)  I'm also doing my best to keep ya'll updated on the growing belly (it's an entity unto its own) and posting pics every two weeks.

We all know Russ was less than thrilled about taking this picture but he's learning to be a good sport.  Beba is silently protesting

My Dr. said that it is normal to gain about 25-35 lbs over the course of a pregnancy and at my last appointment, I had gained ten lbs.  Which, I should mentioned I relayed to Russ and his response was, "that's all, you look like you've gained more".  * Note, never a good idea to say that to your wife.  It's all good, I know the baby is getting everything she needs and getting big and round is part of the deal you make when taking on a pregnancy.
The fruit artwork is courtesy of Russ - it's supposed to be a papaya

My diet hasn't really changed too much since being pregnant.  Early on, I couldn't stand the idea of coffee but this aversion has passed and just recently I experienced my first craving for a strawberry shake from Jack in the Box.  All in all though, I'm just trying to remember more fruits and vegetables and to eat small frequent meals.  I took some tips from my mother-in-law and added some of the swiss chard we have in our garden to my fruit smoothies in the morning so at least I'm getting my fruit and at least one veggie each day (hopefully more in my lunch in dinner).
Not a great quality pic but I feel like this image shows more accurately how big the belly has gotten (22 weeks, 3 days)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Big News!

While some people find out at 13 weeks (my sister), others have to wait until close to 21 weeks to find out the sex of their baby! 
Our dessert...
Our Perinatologist, Dr. Platt, recommends conducting the second trimester ultrasound at 20-22 weeks to maximize the information he can gather.  They measure everything in the second trimester and it's so cool when you can actually see your baby's heart pumping blood in and out using such advanced technology.

 We thought long and hard about how we wanted to find out the sex of our baby and knew that we wanted something intimate and authentic to who we are.  We considered the "reveal" party, the cake, special boxes with the gender name inside, etc... but at the end of the day - we decided that we just wanted "us".  We love nothing more than a good date night and so we picked a special place we'd been wanting to try, WP24 at the top of the Ritz Carlton in downtown.

To be honest, we both thought that we'd know the sex of our baby prior to dinner because the 52 inch+ (?) plasma screen that you watch during the ultrasound doesn't hide very much.  But, to our surprise, Dr. Platt was pretty incredible (and fast) as he confirmed the sex.  He is a funny Dr. and wrote the sex down on a post-it note and then wrapped it in tons of tape and layers of paper and placed the "ball" in an envelope.

As we were finishing up our main course, we took turns opening the note revealing a new layer until finally I got it back from Russ and opened up the final post-it to reveal that we are having a ...

An emotional moment - the paper says "girl"!


We are over the moon excited about our little baby girl who is gonna be here before we know it.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Halfway Hooray and Nancy's Bday!

We are halfway through this incredible journey of pregnancy and as cliche as it sounds, I have no idea where the time has gone?!
At a wedding in San Diego
We've been busy working on our house (which has been put into high gear now), trying to enjoy time with family and cherishing these last few months as just "Russ and Ang".  Knowing that we are going to have a child (for the rest of our lives) in a few months can be a little overwhelming, but a challenge we have spent the past 14 years preparing for.  Yes, we have been together for 14 years!

We were lucky to be able to spend time with family both at Easter and the following weekend in San Diego for a wedding.  And who could forget  - -  we managed to squeeze in a special birthday boating trip to celebrate Nancy's fabulous 60th birthday! 

Pouring some bubbly to celebrate Nancy!

Boating for Nancy's 60th Birthday (official bday 4/22)!

I got a little dose of just how soon the baby will be here when calling a hotel to make reservations for a wedding this September.  I told the receptionist to put us in the quietest area because we'll have a baby with us.  Just saying this out loud to a stranger was surreal and she informed me that they don't have cribs so we'll have to bring our own sleeping device.  I know, we are ambitious to plan to attend a wedding less than 4 weeks after our baby is born, but we're gonna do our best because they are very close friends.  We'll see...

I celebrated the halfway point by getting a mani-pedi.  I think Russ would say he celebrated by finding a deal on Craigslist for hardwood floors ;)

For those of you (Piper & mom) who said they can't tell I'm pregnant, I have included proof that mama's getting big!  The past two weeks have been the most dramatic thus far. 

20 Weeks (2 days) Woo Hoo!
Highlights of the past two weeks:
  • Hearing the baby's heartbeat at my 2nd trimester Dr. Appt - click here to hear it (it's on Youtube but there isn't anything to see)
  • Feeling the baby kick for the first time on Sunday, April 15th
  • Russ actually felt the baby in a ball this morning (4/21) on the right side of my uterus

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stealth like a puma = One cool crib

We bought our first piece of baby furniture!  I know, it's a little early but when I see something I want (and am hoping for a Craigslist miracle) I jump.  With all modesty ;) we are what some might call "Craigslist Superstars".  We've purchased most everything we own on CL (Our home for instance, car, most all materials and furniture etc...).  It's a skill one develops over time and I'm proud to say we are gold medalists in finding great deals.  We know we want a modern, hip nursery with clean lines and one that is crisp but inviting.

Initially, I "google imaged" cribs and tried to look at the pictures without knowing price, brand etc...  I immediately knew we wanted the MacLaren Netto Crib but the price tag is a little (a lot) steep for this gal.  Not to mention, Russ would likely throw me out of the second story of our house if I bought it for full price.

So...I did what we usually do when we know what we want.  I stalked Craigslist like a puma (they are very stealth ya know).  I saw one of our coveted cribs posted a couple months ago and called that very day.  Unfortunately, we were too late to the game and some turbo-shopper bought it out from under us (rats).  Not to be discouraged... because when I saw "our" crib posted again a few weeks later, you couldn't stop me (neither could the lady who was apparently coming the next day to buy it).  I swooped in early the next morning and bought that crib.  Nothing can beat the feeling of rolling down Sunset Boulevard in a Volvo wagon with a sweet crib in your backseat - Boom! 

I also managed to secure the adorable linen boxes with our purchase as well.  Winning!
Lesson #1:  Never EVER put off going to see/purchase an item you want on Craigslist - go immediately or someone like us will beat you to the punch.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bump Patrol

Quite a few of our friends and family have asked me if I'm showing and it seems that the past two weeks have really made the ol' belly look a bit bigger.  I'm not gonna lie though, it is very strange to be working out at the gym and to be surprised by your reflection.  That can't be me, that girl has a big belly!  It's that weird stage of not fully looking pregnant but not looking thin either.

It's fascinating though, and each night I can see a difference (or at least I think I can).  Poor Russ doesn't know if he should say I look pregnant or not ;)  I'm getting big enough though, that there is no squeezing into any pair of old jeans.  My new waistline is now forcing me to tell my agents this week.  I'm sure they'll be thrilled but the auditions will become fewer and fewer.  Hey, maybe I'll get more work as a pregnant actor?!

*We just painted a big chalkboard on our dining room wall so forgive the lack of continuity with the pics.  From here on out though, they'll all be in front of the board.

6 Weeks
15 Weeks

18 Weeks

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Big City Moms - Biggest Baby Shower

You'll notice that I mention my friend, Christina, a fair amount in this blog because she is exactly 50% ahead of me in her pregnancy!  So, if you do the math, she is due in two weeks (when I am officially 20 weeks aka "half way"). 

We both had the chance to attend the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower event at the Skirball Center.  Ladies, it was a lot like a wedding expo but instead of wedding cake, diamonds and flowers, guests were treated to mocktails, strollers, and breast-feeding stations.  It was a lot of fun and we took home a fair amount of free loot.  For all the star-seekers out there, we saw Ali Landry and Jessica Alba.  Jessica has a new line of organic/natural baby care and cleaning products called Honest and I think it's a pretty cool company.
Gettin hammered with these delicious mocktails

I felt a little overwhelmed by the whole thing and while it was nice to see the various products, gadgets and baby food makers that are out there, I do a lot better researching on-line.  Overall though, it was good althoug, I think I would have been even more into it if I would have been further along at the time (12 weeks still felt a little early to really dive into "babyworld, ").

Babies first pacifier and booties
All in all, a really fun night with a great friend (and the free Sprinkles cupcakes weren't too bad either).

Since we don't know if it's a boy/girl, the woman at Honest, gave me both sets of diaper patterns.  Skulls for a boy and ice cream cones for a girl.  Let's be honest though, I'll use them all regardless of gender ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

13 Week Ultrasound

I'm still playing a bit of catch-up here, but wanted to be sure I posted some of the sweet photos from our 13-week ultrasound.  The perinatologist wouldn't give us any hints as to the sex of our baby so we'll just have to wait, which is always fun!

Little Nugget - My friend Christina, has started calling it Baby BK Stacker (Brink Kerwin)

Looks like half a baby but this is just the way the top of the image comes out using the fancy technology, we were assured that our child will have legs ;)

For those crazy people who want to see the whole ultrasound, you can click here and see the whole show.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The first-ish purchased outfit

I've long been a little over-zealous/crazy (no surprise there).  Over the course of our marriage, I've taken it upon myself to purchase a baby outfit in most of the countries we've visited.  I have some cute onesies from France, a cotton Vietnamese outfit, booties from Turkey and more...

I know those are all technically "purchased" but they've all been put away and I didn't even know when we would try for a family when I bought them.  So...the below outfit is my "first" purchased outfit for our child that we are actually aware of.

It's unisex so can fit either a boy or a girl.  I had my eye on it a month or so ago but couldn't break down and pay full price.  I take after my mother in the good deal department, so when I saw this little beauty under the "sale" sign, I knew it was time to purchase!

Russ loves/likes it too, which is saying something because he's not the most excitable guy (as you all know).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First Ultrasound and telling Grandma and Grandpa Kerwin

 We had our first ultrasound around week 7 to check on the baby.  It was the first big moment for us as "parents".  Wow, that word is even difficult to type!  As the fabulous Dr. Kerr put the ultrasound to work, she told Russ to, "hurry, hurry over here and hold her hand, this is a real couple moment".  It was right then, that she isolated the heartbeat and we heard our little baby hard at work pumping blood through its already developing heart! 
The little bug

The heartbeat was 147 beats/minute (great said Dr. Kerr) and it was definitely a surreal experience.  You'll notice, I use the word "surreal" a lot because I can't think of a better word to convey the complete aw that we felt.  I also didn't know that once a heartbeat is established, the risk of miscarriage goes down from 25% to 3%, which was super comforting.  After the first trimester, the risk only goes down 1% more so we were feeling a huge relief.
The two littlel parrell lines in the middle of the picture are the heart.
As timing would have it, Russ' parents came down that evening after returning from a month in Seattle.  We weren't totally ready to tell them just yet but about one week later we broke the good news to them over wine (and non-alcoholic ginger beer) at one of our favorite places, City Sip.  We gave them a card that said something to the effect of "money leaving your wallets and grandchildren pictures filling it up".  When the magnitude of the message set in, Nancy cried her eyes out and kept asking, "are you serious" immediately followed by, "now we have to move here"!  Dave-O was also pretty excited and offered big hugs.  We also gave Nancy a little box with a bib enclosed that read, "Grandma Gives the Best Hugs". 
The moment we told Grandma and Grandpa Kerwin (not the best picture, but the only one we took)
Grandma's Bib

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Little (o.k. Long) Break and Now We're Back - And We Have BIG News!

As you've probably noticed, we've been delinquent on this blog for quite some time but our "voices" were best utilized on a different blog, a home renovation blog.  I personally loved writing about a variety of things going on in our lives but honestly, about two years ago, our world began overflowing with home renovations, DIY projects, and yard work!  So, in that vain, it made sense to switch gears and focus solely on the house stuff/blog (and even that was a challenge).

Frankly, I think more people liked the home blog  vs. our day-to-day lives but alas, we are back.  No, this does not mean the house is finished (but we're getting there)!  We have returned to this blog because our lives are moving in numerous directions far beyond home renovations.  Not to mention, we have families and friends who want frequent updates on more than just the house.

They mostly just want updates on our newest and most exciting project: Baby K!

You read it correctly, we are expecting our first child in September 2012.  For those interested in Asian culture, we hit the jackpot - - Baby Kerwin will be born on the Year of the Dragon - VERY LUCKY!

After quite a long time of trying, we feel really blessed to have made it safely into the second trimester.

Below are a couple of highlights:
  • When I found out
  • How I told Russ

I found out via home pregnancy test on Monday, January 2nd.  I awoke after a troubled sleep convinced that I was not pregnant because two nights prior, when we were in Colorado for the New Year, I took a $.99 store pregnancy test and the result was negative.  Once home though, I thought it wouldn't hurt to take the "fancy" test first thing in the morning.
The results!
My (our) whole world changed that morning.  I remember the moment I saw the words "pregnant", I was shocked, overwhelmed, overjoyed, and thankful.  While Russ still slept just five feet away in our bedroom, I took some time to collect myself, thank the Lord and made the decision not to tell Russ until I had the official blood work the NEXT day!  Plus, I wanted to put some thought into the way I was going to tell him.

The next day, I shared the good news with the amazing staff at Dr. Kerr's office.  They had been on this journey with me for a while and it was fun to celebrate with them.  I ordered a "rush" on the blood work and I later received the joyous phone call from Dr. Kerr.  She was so excited and it was a special conversation that made "it" official.

Russ (and Beba) reading the card - super special moment

The watch with engraving

The card, a little bib and the ultrasound pictures of the egg

How this whole thing started ;)
I made Russ' favorite, baby back ribs and handed him a gift bag. He opened up the gift and it was a watch and on the back, I had it engraved,"It's About Time - - Baby K 9/12".  He was super excited and that moment is one of the sweetest we've experienced as a couple in our 13 years together. I also gave him a bib and a card with the ultrasound of the follicle/egg that was our baby prior to being fertilized (long story short, I had been going to my doctor prior to ovulation for a "trigger" shot to have the most mature egg released).  I feel really fortunate to have such an extensive timeline of our little babies journey.

Baby Kerwin Due September 6, 2012